The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, has charged the Ahafo Regional Security Council ( REGSEC) to immediately bring to an end the operations of two groups of people disrupting the work of Forestry Commission officials in the area.
The two groups, identified as Salifu 11 and Malik 9, who were already declared wanted by the police, he said, have been “terrorising the indigenes and forestry officials in the area.”
He asked the REGSEC to ensure members of the groups were pursued vigorously, apprehended and made to face the full rigours of the law.
The Minister was speaking at Goaso in the AhafoRegion yesterday following a meeting with members of the REGSEC.
The meeting formed part of his one-day tour of the region.
Mr Jinapor stated that the Ministry was desperately looking forward to the security forces clamping down on illegal lumbering in the region.
“I expect immediate action to be taken because it is a desperate situation and we cannot allow such situation to continue.
The culture of impunity when it comes to law enforcement cannot be allowed to be part of our country and therefore I am hoping that these people will be apprehended and dealt with,” he stated.
He further tasked the Forestry Commission to as soon as possible, establish a task force which would help the police investigate the matter and also do an audit of all companies engaged in the sale of any kind of wood in the region.
“Get this task force in place and bring out plans and strategies to tear down the operations of these syndicates, ensuring that you involve a member from the Regional House of Chiefs.
“We need an improved effort toward clamping down on lumbering which is causing massive loss to the forest reserve in the region,” he added.
The Ahafo Regional Minister, George Boakye, on behalf of the REGSEC assured the Minister of their readiness to address all illegal activities in the region.
He said the REGSEC was counting on the support of the Ministry in the implementation of programmes and initiatives aimed at improving afforestation and protecting the natural resources in the area.
FROM CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS, GOASO